Our new normal brings with it many memories of the past with its ordinary moments and its very special moments, too. It is almost as if we have been given the chance to find our new normal as we remember the experiences of what normal used to look like. If that sounds confusing to you, well, it sounds confusing to me too.
Early in this new life we are all living I began to remember those experiences from long ago that had felt special to me, as well as those days that were always quite ordinary,. Those moments, those days, those experiences were all…my normal.
As the medical experts informed us of all the risks, as the government put in place all manner of ways to “slow the spread”, we all began to realize that life was going to be very different, maybe for a very long time. And suddenly, even procuring groceries became a thing, a moment, an experience unlike it had never been in my grown-up life. And then it hit me…going to Kroger had once been very special, an event, and it was about to become an event again.
When I was a little girl growing up in Detroit, I spent a lot of time at my paternal grandparents house. I always tried to begin my weekends there on Wednesday night…yes, that does make for a nice long weekend! I knew that Grandma and Grandpa walked down to Kroger on Seven Mile Rd. and Livernois every Thursday to get the groceries for the next week, and I always tried to find a way to go with them. I loved those trips to the store. Why? There was a bridal shop on the way, and each month a new dress showed up in the window. Oh how I could not wait to see the new dress on that gorgeous mannequin! Then there were the ice cream cones, one for me and one for himself, that Grandpa always got at the dime store, whether Grandma approved or not.
And now I go to Kroger on Monday morning every two weeks to do our shopping for the next two weeks. I do not go any other day, and so we best be certain everything we need or want is on the list that hangs on the refrigerator. If we find we are missing something…well, Monday will come again. We have learned to adapt…even be more creative with recipes…because, maybe, Monday is still a ways off! I noticed this past week that I was like a kid looking forward to passing the bridal shop…I was going shopping, and it was an event, and I was even excited. Maybe, just maybe, this is good for all of us, discovering once again the simple things that are really important and should never be taken for granted.
It is from this same set of grandparents that I was introduced to the beauty of nature. They loved gardening, and while I was not as keen on it as they were, I did learn a lot from them. Then suddenly, as an adult, I grew into my understanding of all the nature they had taught me and I have never looked back. As we are “locked down” I spend a lot of time in my yard, I spend a lot of time looking at the bees and the birds, the flowers as they bloom at different times, and I take some pride in planting my garden. This year I will be planting a Three Sisters garden…more about that in another post.
Grandma had, literally, hundreds of Viewmaster slides from all over the world, and from those slides I developed my love of travel. I cannot travel right now, but Jim and I can, and do go for rides in the countryside down roads we never knew existed, and we discover so much we never knew was out there so close to home.
This is a scary time for the whole world, but it is also a time to look back at where we were, and realize that was often a pretty neat place. Maybe, just maybe, we might not mind returning to that life, if only just a bit, understanding that little things we have learned to take for granted are really pretty special after all! If we do, maybe, just maybe, we will all be better for the experience.